Couch to 5K
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An unexpected first !

My target at the moment is to run the Ironbridge half marathon next month. I've only just put together a training plan, due to various things getting in the way (health, work, life - the usual!).

On Saturday, I ran in my 2nd cross country event. I was again 2nd from last but I was pleased with the result. XC is way tougher than running on pavement. My best 5k time has been about 34 minutes and I finished the XC 5.12 km in 39m42s - this included lots of sticky mud, two fences to climb over, 3 very steep hills and twice through a swamp.

I'd planned an 8 mile run on Sunday but felt guilty for abandoning beloved all afternoon on Saturday so gave it a miss, felt ill on Monday so did nothing then either.

Tuesday morning, I decided to try the 8 miles on the treadmill at the gym. Unexpected snow meant I was later than expected so didn't have time to run that far. Instead, I tried a tempo session. My XC pace was about 12.24min/mi and my 10k race time has been 11.15min/mi. I did a mile of warm up, gradually building up from walking to running at 12min/mi pace. I followed that with 2 miles at 11:30 min/mi, 1 mile at 11:00 min/mi and 1 mile at 10:30 min mi, then a cool down for .29 of a mile. In all, I ran 4 1/2 miles without stopping or taking a walk break ! I know it's easier on the treadmill but it was still a first (previous furthest non-stop was 5km) and I'm chuffed to bits :-). I covered 5.29 miles in 65 minutes, in all.

It was bad planning really as I had a pyramid session at running club later on - our lovely coach told me off as two hard sessions in a day is a bit of a no-no. I managed though. We did about a mile of intervals, followed by the pyramid session - 1min effort, 1min recovery, 2min effort, 2min recovery, 3min effort, 3min recovery - then back down the other way. It was very tough but I survived ! In all, I did over 10 miles yesterday. I do ache today but I'm looking forward to a steady run with club tomorrow (prob about 4 miles).

I'm actually looking forward to doing another tempo run on the treadmill - I think that and the XC have made me feel able to push a bit more. Our coach said I had got noticeably fitter - I'm still slower than most of the other runners in our club but the thing that matters most is that I am improving and making progress.

Running outdoors is definitely more fun but I quite relish the challenge of a tough session on the treadmill - it's easy to measure progress too.

I'm quite excited :-)

6 Replies

Well done you, that's brilliant! Bet you are grinning lots. Naughty overtraining, but as long as you take a couple of rest days I would think that shouldn't be a problem (and don't make a habit of it!)

Good luck for the half marathon, it looks like you are well on your way to it :-)


Fingers crossed - mustn't over do it in case of injury though.


sounds like you are really enjoying your training at the moment. do you think you will try a whole marathon next year?? :)

& yes, wishing you lots of luck for your half marathon. shelley x


I'm really not sure I'm committed enough to train for a marathon. A couple of friends are doing so at them moment and it seems to have completely taken over their lives. I like the idea of Kielder marathon one day maybe but I'm trying not to set long term targets.


Well done on you new first! It's always great to see measurable improvements, isn't it? (Although I admit your numbers were not immediately clear to me, as I run in metric ;-) and think in terms of mins/km)

I tried one of the Audiofuel pyramid intervals podcasts on Monday, so I understand what your talking about there, and know the effort involved. It was hard and I only managed 3.5 of the intervals ie didn't even complete the top of the pyramid, never mind coming down the other side. But that's ok, as I'll repeat this and hopefully see improvements over time.


I've moved gyms from one where everything was in km to one where it is all in miles - it gets confusing ! I think a lot of the difficulty with intervals/pyramids is getting the pace right to start with - I usually set off too quickly and can't sustain it.


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